On today’s episode of the Craft Industry Alliance podcast we’re talking about making and selling handcrafted products with my guest Arounna Khounnoraj of Bookhou.
Arounna Khounnoraj started Bookhou with her husband, John Booth, in 2002 as a place to combine and market their work. Both Arounna and John started out as artists – Arounna as a sculptor and John as a painter – but as time passed their endeavors grew to include ceramics, fiber arts, architecture and furniture making to name only a few. Needless to say, Bookhou defines itself as a multidisciplinary studio where the husband and wife team explore a variety of mediums both individually and collectively.
Most people, however, would probably know Arounna as a printmaker and surface designer through her work in creating fabric bags, personal and home items which showcase her unique pattern designs. In keeping with their art studio roots, Arounna’s work emphasizes the handmade and the hand-drawn utilizing references to both natural, botanical forms as well as abstract patterns with the simplicity of form uniting everything she creates.
During our conversation, Arounna traces the birth and growth of Bookhou. She explains how she shifted gears from making fine art that would hang in a gallery to making what some people might call craft, and why she feels especially suited to making artwork that becomes a product.
John and Arounna live above their shop and they are the parents of two school-aged children. Arounna describes their typical day and how they balance working and parenting. We also talk about the pros and cons of wholesale and Etsy. Hear how Arounna uses Instagram to market her products (she has over 77,000 followers).
And, of course, I ask Arounna to recommend great stuff she’s loving right now. Arounna recommends:
This episode is sponsored by Teresa Ascone Art Tutorials. Have you ever wanted to try watercolor? Teresa Ascone’s Etsy tutorials for absolute beginners age 10 and older are PDF downloads with easy-to-understand instructions, supply list, definitions, a full-color framable image of the art, and line drawing. The paintings can be completed in less than 60 minutes. Check out all of Teresa’s work on her website.
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